My Beloved World was written by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It is about her personal and professional life. While describing her childhood and family, Sotomayor reveals details about her parents' neglect. Sonia's mother, Celina, suffered from depression and isolated herself from Sonia's life. Celina had a toxic relationship with Sonia’s father, Juan. Juan and Celina argued frequently, and the arguments created an unstable home for Sonia. After Juan died of alcoholism, Celina became deeply depressed. Sonia did eventually develop a lot of affection toward her mother, but it developed over time and with much effort.
Juan struggled with alcoholism, and his addiction made Sonia's relatives shout insults about him. On one occasion, Sonia remembers feeling ashamed when she overheard her family members talking about a time when her father became unconscious from drinking too much and had to be transported to the hospital. Juan died at age forty-two from alcohol-related complications. Sonia was only nine years old at the time, and she suffered intense mental anguish as she attempted to make sense of the turmoil around her.
However, despite the neglect she experienced, Sonia’s grandmother (Juan's mother) was like a guardian angel in Sonia's early childhood, guiding her throughout the difficult times in her family life. The neglect inspired Sonia to become self-reliant at a young age, as she could not depend on her parents to meet her needs. Also, the neglect made Sonia close to her grandmother, since Sonia realized that she could depend upon her for guidance and emotional support. Moreover, the neglect that Sonia experienced made her face adversity, which allowed Sonia to develop abilities that she may not have tapped into without facing and overcoming struggles. Consequently, Justice Sotomayor became the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice in 2009—a monumental accomplishment for anyone but especially for somebody who grew up poor in the Bronx and had a tumultuous childhood.